Moving people toward compassionate living
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|Originally Posted: 28 January 2010|
Help Stop Bear Hunting in California
FROM Big Wildlife
Urge the California Fish and Game Commission to ban bear hunting in California. TAKE ACTION BEFORE FEBRUARY 3, 2010 when the commission will vote.
California Fish and Game Commission
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
Every year, more than 2,000 bears are legally killed by
hunters across California, with the most bears killed in
Siskiyou, Trinity, Humboldt, Shasta, and Tulare counties.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature
Red List of Threatened Species, an estimated 40,000 to 50,000
black bears are legally hunted each year in the US and Canada,
while an unknown number are also illegally poached. To make
matters worse, it is legal for trophy hunters in California to
chase bears with packs of hounds.
On February 3, the California Fish and Game Commission will consider changes to the state's mammal hunting regulations. In our comments to the Commission, Big Wildlife will urge the state to ban bear hunting across California. We urge you to help end bear hunting in the state.
See the video, Bear Dogs at Work.
SAMPLE LETTER / TALKING POINTS
Dear California Fish and Game Commission:
I understand on February 3 the California Fish and Game
Commission (Commission) will consider changes to the state’s
mammal hunting regulations. As part of that process, I urge the
Commission to adopt new regulations banning the hunting of black
bears throughout California. Specifically, I urge the Commission
to ban bear hunting in California because:
Trophy hunting puts additional pressures on bears, who face a
host of increasing threats from poaching, habitat fragmentation
and destruction, human encroachment into wildlife areas,
aggressive government lethal control programs, and climate
State wildlife officials have failed to assess the impacts of
poaching. Illegal killing of bears has increased globally,
fueled by a booming international market, for bear parts,
especially bear gallbladders used in traditional Asian medicine
and bear paws, considered a delicacy in soup. Bear gallbladders
can go for $5,000 a pound, an enticing price that has spurred
bear poaching in California. Poaching of wildlife has become
epidemic across the state. Violations rose from 6,538 in 2003 to
17,840 in 2007. The illegal sale of California wildlife and
wildlife parts generates an estimated $100 million a year,
second only to the illegal drug trade, according to California
Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) officials. Yet, the state has
just 358 game wardens patrolling 300,000 square miles of land
and water. It makes no sense to permit bear hunting when state
wildlife law enforcement capabilities are so crippled.
Trophy hunting ignores the ecological value of bears. Apex
species, such as bears, cougars, and wolves, play critical roles
in maintaining ecosystems. Black bears often scavenge for food,
playing an important role in recycling carrion. Bears also help
transport berry seeds. Along salmon spawning streams, bear scat
and the remains of fish carried into the woods contribute to the
long-term nutrient cycle in old-growth forest. Even cambium
feeding by bears, which sometimes kills trees, creates widely
scattered snags that benefit other species of wildlife.
The state has failed to assess the impacts of annual
increases in bears killed by hunters. According to CDFG data,
the number of bears killed legally by hunters has steadily
increased well beyond the agency's own 1,700 annual season
limit. Yet, the CDFG has yet to analyze how these dramatic
increases have affected state and local bear populations,
behavior, social structure, reproduction, and cubs.
Hunting black bears is cruel, unethical, and environmentally
harmful. In California, bears can be legally chased by hounds,
treed, and then shot by hunters. Hounds have been known to
pursue bears with cubs, increasing the risk that cubs could be
separated from their mothers, then orphaned. It is not uncommon
for hounds to maim bears, especially cubs, and even more common
for bears to maim or kill an entire pack of dogs. In addition,
hounds may pursue non-targeted animals, including imperiled
species, putting additional stress on those species. Bears can
also be killed with bow and arrow, which studies reveal produce
an unacceptably high wounding rate.
Again, please end this cruel and inhumane “sport” in
California. Instead of permitting bears to be shot for trophies,
the state should strengthen safeguards for these magnificent
animals. Thank you.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!